As of July 31 the U.S. had recorded 248 mass shootings (4 or more people shot)—with 979 injured and 246 killed in 2019. Add to that just the Aug. 3 El Paso shooting, the Aug. 4 Dayton, Ohio, and Chicago shootings, and the totals rise to 278 dead and 1,036 injured. Schools will be opening again soon, and children will live in fear each day as they head to their classrooms, where they will be instructed on how to save themselves if shooting breaks out.
I’ve included a map above of U.S. mass shootings this year through July 31. You may notice a general similarity to the map in my July 31 blog illustrating the 1,020 hate groups being monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The other chart here shows, for major countries, a comparison of video game popularity with violent gun deaths. It speaks for itself. The U.S. is in a class of its own when it comes to violence and hatred, and it’s not spawned by video games.
An excerpt from April 5 remarks by The Washington Post’s editorial board: “For a moment on Monday, President Trump offered a teasing hope that he would jolt the Republican Party into easing its roadblock on even the most obvious and popular gun-control measures. Following a grisly weekend of mass shootings, Mr. Trump tweeted in favor of ‘strong background checks’ so that ‘something good, if not GREAT, [comes] out of these two tragic events!’
“Soon enough, the president subsided to form. He read a speech that focused on mental health issues, violent video games and the Internet as major factors in the nation’s increasingly bloody culture of gun violence. ‘Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger. Not the gun,’ he said. But mental illness and hatred exist throughout the world, as do video games. Frequent mass shootings are unique to the United States. The reason is guns, and especially semiautomatics. Unique to the United States is easy access to the means to commit mass murder. . . ‘
Using non-tweet language in reading a prepared speech, Donald said in a relatively subdued voice without his usual grandiose gestures and usual pomposity, “Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.” We know that, Donald; we’ve seen how hate has warped your mind. Our best to your speech writer for those words that you, yourself, obviously didn’t compose—and into which you didn’t put much energy.
Here are a couple of excerpts from Aug. 6 comments by The Seattle Times editorial board, which obviously was unimpressed by the president’s speech following the Aug. 3 El Paso and Aug. 4 Dayton, Ohio, shootings. “ ‘In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,’ the president said. They are words that might have been welcome two years ago, after violence erupted at the Unite the Right rally at Charlottesville. Words he could have made part of his campaign announcement four years ago, rather than stereotyping all Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.
“The president’s words matter, as do those of all the lower-level politicians who parrot or excuse his repeated, vile and incendiary attempts to dehumanize immigrants and people of color. But the years’ worth of damage will require more than a brief televised statement. It demands a reformation — a wholesale repudiation of the divisiveness and scapegoating that has been the hallmark of Trump’s presidency . . .
“President Donald Trump and his apologists can deny, all they like, the connection between acts of public violence and the drumbeat of their foul rhetoric. They can downplay the impact our president’s smiling acceptance of supporters’ threatening taunts and jeers might have on a troubled or desperately furious young man. They can point fingers at video games or wring hands over mental health. But if they have any shred of decency, they will work to eradicate two clear commonalities in these gruesome acts of violence: the free flow of military-grade weapons, and the weaponization of rage.” Read the entire editorial at https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/stop-the-flow-of-weapons-and-loaded-language/
In this material, there is no involvement of “fake news,” the main fantasized refuge of Donald Trump, who lacks the intellect to deal with a Free Press. Journalism is a profession comprised of individuals driven by altruism rather than greed—and who listened to others while educating themselves to the nature of humanity and the world in which we all share. Articles such as the foregoing utilize facts, cite sources and offer opinions (identified as such by the very forums in which they appear).